Does one stick butter equal 8 oz?

When it comes to baking and cooking, one of the most common ingredients used is butter. Many recipes call for “1 stick” of butter. But does 1 stick of butter actually equal 8 oz, or is there some variation? Let’s take a closer look at the details.

The Origins of the 8 oz Stick of Butter

The tradition of butter being sold in 8 oz “sticks” originated in the United States in the 1920s. Prior to this, butter was sold in various sized mounds or blocks. As butter became more mass produced in factories, the stick shape and size became standardized.

The 8 oz stick of butter caught on due to a few key factors:

  • It was a convenient size for wrapping in paper
  • It made measuring simple – no need to weigh or cut the butter
  • It fit nicely into newly invented refrigerators

So the stick style and 8 oz size became the norm across the US butter industry and it remains the standard today.

Do All Sticks of Butter Weigh 8 oz Exactly?

While the 8 oz stick is the standard, there are some small variations in the actual weight of sticks of butter across different brands.

According to the U.S. Department of Agriculture standards, a stick of butter must weigh at least 4 oz (113 grams). However most brands produce sticks that weigh between 4-5 oz. So a typical 8 oz stick may contain slightly more or less than exactly 8 oz of butter.

Some of the factors that can cause small variations in weight include:

  • Moisture content – butter contains some water which can evaporate over time, reducing weight
  • Packaging process – small amounts of butter are lost in the packaging process
  • Recipe variations – different brands use slightly different amounts of cream, salt, etc.

However, these small variations amount to less than an ounce or so in most cases. The differences are small enough that for all practical purposes in cooking and baking, 1 stick of butter can be assumed to equal 8 oz.

Do All Types of Butter Come in 8 oz Sticks?

While salted and unsalted butter are commonly packaged in 8 oz sticks, some other types of butter are produced and sold in different sizes and shapes.

Here are a few examples:

Butter Type Common Shape/Size
Whipped Butter Tubs, 8 oz
European-Style Butter 250 gram blocks
Ghee Jars, 8 oz
Cultured Butter 8 oz sticks

So while the 8 oz stick is the norm for the most popular types of butter in the US, some specialty butter products use different sizing.

Does Butter Weight Vary By Region?

Butter sticks in other countries are sized differently than the standard US stick weighing 8 oz (or 4 oz per half stick). Here are some common sizes around the world:

  • UK – 250 gram blocks
  • Canada – 113 gram blocks
  • Europe – 250 gram blocks
  • Australia – 250 gram blocks
  • New Zealand – 500 gram blocks

So butter packaging does vary globally. However, within each country the sizing is standardized. So a “stick” of butter in the UK will consistently weight 250g, for example.

Does Butter Weight Change During Cooking?

When butter is used in cooking and baking, its mass can be reduced through melting and evaporation.

For example, if a recipe calls for baking something at 350°F for an hour, some of the moisture in a stick of butter will evaporate away in the oven heat. This will cause the butter to weigh slightly less after baking.

However, under normal cooking conditions, this moisture loss is minimal. When frying eggs or sautéing vegetables on the stovetop, very little evaporation occurs. Any reduction in butter weight during cooking would be no more than a fraction of an ounce.

So for most practical purposes, you can assume that 1 stick of butter will retain its full 8 oz weight through the cooking process.

Does Melted Butter Weigh the Same as a Stick?

Melted butter weighs slightly less than the original stick it came from. This is because a small portion of the moisture content evaporates away when the butter is fully melted.

However, this reduction in weight from evaporative loss is minimal. On average, a cup of melted butter weights about 7.8 oz, compared to 8 oz for the original stick.

The difference is small enough that melted butter can be substituted 1:1 for stick butter in cooking and baking. So if a recipe calls for 1 stick of butter (8 oz), you can safely use 1 cup of melted butter without any issues.

Does Butter Weight Change During Storage?

The weight of butter can fluctuate slightly during storage due to evaporation and handling.

If stored for extended periods in the refrigerator, butter sticks will slowly lose small amounts of moisture to evaporation, causing the weight to go down over time.

Handling and usage also reduces butter weight slightly. As pieces are cut off a stick for use, some butter cling to the knife or container, reducing the remaining weight.

However, weight loss during proper refrigerated storage would amount to less than 0.5 oz over several weeks. The reduction from kitchen usage is even smaller.

So the weight difference from storage is not significant enough to impact cooking or baking.

Does Weight Vary Between Salted and Unsalted Butter?

Salted and unsalted butter sticks are generally packaged to have equal weights, despite the addition of salt. This is accomplished by starting with slightly more base butter in salted varieties.

According to United States Department of Agriculture standards, salted butter must contain 1.4-2% salt by weight. The salt displaces a small portion of the butter, so an extra 0.5-1% more butter is added to achieve the target stick weight.

This means you can use salted and unsalted butter interchangeably without adjustments in baking recipes or other uses where absolute weight matters.

Is Butter Weight Exactly 226 Grams?

Some conversion charts and calculators list 1 stick of butter as weighing exactly 226 grams instead of 8 oz (227g). This minor 1 gram difference is simply a rounding issue.

Technically, 8 oz converts to 226.8 grams. But since most applications don’t require extreme precision, many references round this up to 227 grams or down to 226 grams per stick.

So while 226g is not exactly precise, it’s still close enough for most cooking and baking purposes. The small deviation makes no real difference in functionality or measures.

Weight Equivalencies for Butter Portions

Here is a quick reference guide for the approximate weight of common butter stick portions:

Butter Portion Approx. Weight
1 tablespoon 14 g / 0.5 oz
1/4 stick (4 tbsp) 57 g / 2 oz
1/3 stick (5 tbsp + 1 tsp) 76 g / 2.7 oz
1/2 stick (8 tbsp) 113 g / 4 oz
2/3 stick (10 tbsp + 2 tsp) 151 g / 5.3 oz
3/4 stick (12 tbsp) 170 g / 6 oz

Key Takeaways

  • The standard US stick of butter weighs 8 oz or 2/4 cup. But small variations of 0.5-1 oz are common between brands and batches.
  • Specialty butter products like whipped or European-style are packaged in sizes other than 8 oz sticks.
  • Weight variations during storage, melting, and cooking are minimal and do not impact recipe success.
  • Salted and unsalted sticks are produced to have equal weights by adjusting the butter ratios.
  • For all practical purposes, 1 stick of butter can be assumed to equal 8 oz or 1/2 cup in cooking and baking.


While the 8 oz stick is the standard butter size in the US, there are some small, acceptable variations in actual weight across brands and batches. However, these differences amount to less than an ounce and have no significant effect in baking or cooking.

The packaging process causes a typical stick to weigh in slightly under 8 full ounces. But the shortfall is small enough that recipes and kitchen measures treat 1 stick and 8 oz as equivalents. Nutrition info and conversions also round the 227 grams per stick to an even 8 oz.

So for all practical purposes in the kitchen, cooks in the United States can rely on 1 stick of butter being equal to 8 oz. The minor variations in actual weight are negligible for most applications.

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